These six preventative home security measures can be implemented before you go away on vacation or run out the door for a family event.
1. Inspect outdoor perimeter
Whenever you happen to be in the front or backyard, have a look around the area of your home to make sure there are no possible ways an intruder could break in. If you see any tools or objects laying around on your property such as a hammer, baseball bat, ladder or wire cutters, be sure they are put away and locked up in a safe spot. If they are stored in your garage, be sure the garage is locked and won’t be easy to access.
2. Home security system
If you have a home security system, make sure it’s updated and frequently check to see if it’s still working. If you don’t have a home alarm or security system, it is worth looking into as it can offer you an additional piece of mind and possibly a lower home insurance premium. This is one of the most efficient ways of preventing home theft.
3. Lock doors and windows
Before you leave your home and especially before you leave on vacation, make sure all doors and windows are locked. According to Insurance Hotline, burglars can access your home through an open door or window 30 per cent of the time and will only need 10 minutes to do so. If you have sliding doors and windows, be sure to put a piece of wood in the track to stop a thief from opening the door. Install any deadbolts on doors with outdoor access.
4. Light it up
A helpful tip to deter theft is to make it look like someone is at home. This can be done by setting up automatic timers inside and motion sensors on outdoor lights for your home. A brightly, lit house can make it more difficult for theft to take place.
5. Be a good neighbour
Being friends with your neighbours can not only grow your social circle, but it can strengthen your community and help provide extra security. If you feel comfortable, you can ask some neighbours to keep an eye on your place if you are going away for the weekend or on vacation. You can also ask them to pick up any mail, take garbage cans in and out or park their car in your driveway to give the appearance of someone living there. Some neighbourhoods also have a Neighbourhood Watch chapter where you can inform them you are going to be on vacation and they will keep an eye on your home for you.
6. Landscaping requirements
Another way to deter thieves is to continue to maintain the landscape of your front and back yard. Trim any tree branches that would make it easy for a thief to climb. If you have any large shrubs or hedges on your lawn, have them trimmed as well as they can make ideal hiding spots for thieves. To help prevent theft and still have a vibrant front yard, you can plant small thorny bushes beneath your windows. Use your yard as a defense mechanism against possible theft.
If a break-in does happen, contact a claims advisor and begin the claims process. If possible, include a home inventory of your personal belongings to help with the claims process. Desjardins does provide all-risk coverage when it comes to home insurance, but it is wise to review your policy to identify what type of coverage you have.